Alternative ways to limit your student debt

If you're planning to study at uni and the bank of mum and dad is a no-go, how do you graduate with a less frightful-looking loan statement?

With some UK universities charging approximately £9,000 a year for tuition fees, you could be left to pay back £27,000 or more after you finish. And that's without taking a maintenance loan.

Check out our tips for alternative ways to raise extra cash and limit the amount you borrow for living costs.

With a part-time degree, you could work full time to help fund your course fees and study in your spare time. At first it might feel like you're juggling too many balls but with good time management, you'll soon strike the right balance. Plus, getting a job related to your degree could give you valuable experience that'll help once you've graduated. 

Designer clothes; old mobile phones; that laptop that's been lying around ever since you got a tablet. If you've got unused items knocking about, why not put them to use by making some money from them. Auction or marketplace websites, local freeads, trade-in shops or even bootfairs are all good places to quickly raise some extra cash.

From answering questions to testing prototypes, market research companies are always on the prowl for people to review their clients' products. And the good news for you is they can sometimes pay generously for your time. There are many market research sites where you can sign up for notifications when sessions become available. 

You might be busy saving but there'll undoubtedly be times when you're spending, too. Cashback websites have signed up hundreds of retailers - from supermarkets and mobile networks to insurance companies - that'll give you money back on your purchases. The cashback might take a little while to come through but a few months down the line you'll enjoy one of those 'I-just-found-£20-in-my-sock-drawer' moments. 

Also, if you're already a student, you could enjoy discounts and deals in shops and restaurants by signing up for a student discount card. 

They say slow and steady wins the race. And with online surveys, you're definitely not going to make big bucks fast. However, they're a good option to make a few pounds if you have a spare moment and because they're online, you can take them on places like the train. Search 'online surveys' and you'll find plenty of sites to sign up to. 

Ever wanted to see your face featured on the box? Apply to be an extra in TV or film productions and you could pocket around £60 - £80 for a day's work. Not bad for standing around and looking pretty. Search 'become a film or TV extra' to find out about opportunities near you.

Paying for student digs can account for a big chunk of your overall living costs. So did you know that in some UK cities, homeowners are looking for long and short-term house-sitters to live in their properties? Many won't charge you rent - they're just looking for someone to occupy the house and keep it in a good state. 

Are you a budding writer? Use your creative skills to produce a short story. You can submit your work to e-book publishers and get it launched on their stores for download. If the story is popular you could enjoy a small yet stable income for years to come. 

  • Consider studying part time

  • Sell unwanted items

  • Sign up for market research

  • Collect cashback on everyday shopping

  • Take online surveys

  • Become an extra

  • Be a house-sitter

  • Write a short story

See if TSB has a savings accountto help you make the most of the money you put away. Or check out TSB's Student Bank Account, which includes an interest and fee-free overdraft for eligible customers.

FAQ icon

Need to visit us?
Visit our FAQs

If you need help with something specific, let us know what it relates to or search a topic.

Go to help page